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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

What makes for a great city in the 21st century? If one aspires to a vision like that of Vancouver, as we do, what does it actually mean and how can a city best realise its vision? Questions such as these are the reason for this book, focusing on cities in highly developed western economies and working from a perspective that sees the idea of integrated planning as a core starting point. This chapter outlines some of the important trends we have observed in urban land use transport planning in recent years, such as: a growing sustainability focus; more attention being paid to structural economic changes and how they affect the spatial structure of cities; the growing importance of neighbourhood, adding a local lens to strategic planning; the interest in compact settlement patterns and in how knowledge of built form and travel interactions can be used to promote this settlement pattern; putting transport in its place, as a servant of land use, rather than letting it determine wider urban outcomes ; and, an increased interest in governance and funding. Our interest is in identifying how the growing knowledge base in such areas can be brought together more effectively, to deliver better urban outcomes. This underlines the vital role we see for a broader, more integrated approach to strategic urban land use transport planning. Subsequent chapters explore improved practice in some detail, with extensive use of case study material.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

This chapter starts with a discussion of vision and goals for city strategic land use transport planning, then looks at the visions and goals set by a number of cities we regard as demonstrating best practice: Vancouver (Canada), Melbourne (Australia), London (UK), Malmö (Sweden), Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany) and Portland (US). A triple bottom line sustainability approach is common to these cities, which all see themselves as ‘green’, but more interesting is the distinctiveness that emerges. Review of practices in the case study cities suggests some key ingredients of a ‘good city’, in strategic land use transport planning terms, such as: engaging the community throughout all stages in the planning process in a meaningful way, as a matter of rights and to achieve better outcomes; using transport to support land use development intentions; integrating ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches to planning; linking land use planning to structural economic change, to enhance productivity growth and enable a better sharing of the benefits of this growth; embedding planning for housing affordability within integrated land use transport planning for compact mixed-use urban growth; planning being aimed at building strong communities, social capital and individual wellbeing; and recognising the importance of a sustainable environment for both present and future generations (and for survival of other species).

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

This chapter draws on material from previous chapters to suggest ways of tackling the many complexities in strategic land use transport planning that have been identified. A good understanding of community goals or aspirations, the achievement of which is the main planning purpose, is the starting point, including a focus on clearly understanding what is distinctive about the particular city. More compact settlement patterns are seen as fundamental drivers of land use development directions, with transport priorities framed to support land use intentions. The chapter has a particular focus on the four areas that the book has identified as ‘new’ elements in good practice strategic land use transport planning: economic productivity (and job accessibility); social inclusion; affordable housing; and urban environmental performance. The key requirement is that long-term land use plans and transport plans, together with strategic plans for other sectors that are closely connected with land use and transport development, are prepared in an integrated way, paying close attention to interactions between these fields of activity and using these interactions to advantage. Implementation plans are discussed, including a focus on governance and funding arrangements, and KPIs for monitoring and performance assessment are identified. The chapter closes by summarising some of the main conclusions from the book.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

The social needs of people vary with age, gender and capabilities. This chapter illustrates this with the example of children, a group where it is vital to meet their needs for longer-term good societal functioning. A failure to foster the developmental requirements of children has been shown to often lead to escalating disadvantages as that person grows. When a child is very young, their caregivers meet their needs, thus providing an optimum environment for caregivers is of prime importance. This includes good quality services, interpersonal contacts and support structures. As the child ages, their independence grows and their needs change, such as age appropriate entertainment and common spaces and a safe environment. These developmental stages can be restricted in impoverished and infrastructure-poor neighbourhoods. A car-based neighbourhood risks creating sedentary patterns, diminished open space for independent play and a predominance of electronic and solitary play. Land use and transport planning can facilitate optimum childhood development through promoting social interaction and the encouragement of interaction with nature. Designs for children, high-quality playgrounds in natural areas, the removal of vehicles from local streets, the provision of safe public transport, walking and cycling, and the provision of opportunities for a wide adult support network, also facilitated by accessibility and common spaces, all provide conditions which encourage good child development outcomes.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

The role of land use and transport in achieving good social outcomes is a neglected area. While considerable funding is commonly spent on social disadvantage, this approach largely targets the individual. This chapter considers how land use and transport may be an important influencing factor in the creation of, or alternatively the amelioration of, social exclusion and neighbourhoods with high levels of disadvantage. The chapter examines what might be seen as good social outcomes and offers some evidence on drivers that are important in achieving these outcomes, such as mobility, social capital and attachment to community. A setting that provides interaction with nature, that is free from an atmosphere dominated by cars, noise and pollution, where people enjoy being present and feel safe, is increasingly being shown to have health and broader social benefits. The chapter discusses the model of a city of 20-minute neighbourhoods, where most people can meet most of their needs most of the time by a 20-minute ride on public transport or by active transport. Important in achieving this outcome is the local provision of most services and an increase in urban density, along with mixed-use building and zoning.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

Cities are having a profound adverse impact on the environment, a problem compounded by worldwide trends of population growth and a movement of people from rural areas to cities. This chapter offers some key environmental targets around greenhouse gas emissions, the preservation of biodiversity, freshwater and an ecological footprint, most of which need urgent attention if the quality of life for urban populations is not to be greatly diminished. Those most likely to be adversely impacted by a degraded environment are people who are already experiencing disadvantage and social exclusion. Vehicle traffic and urban sprawl are exacerbating many of these environmental problems, an issue increasingly being recognised in some countries, particularly in the UK, Canada and some European countries. Changes in mobility patterns will require the courage to enable a major disruption to land use and mobility options, with a much heavier reliance on public transport (the 20-minute city again). Significant change will also be needed in the energy and water sectors, with the establishment of distributed energy and water systems. It will require new thinking in building and neighbourhood design, as well as a new reflection on the value of natural areas, both within the city bounds and on how the urban footprint impacts outside the city boundary. These changes can be achieved through new approaches to valuing the environment and a more ‘distributed’ governance approach that allows genuine community decision-making for people in their local area.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

Urban planners in developed countries are pushing hard for closer integration of land use and transport. At the same time, gaps in knowledge and understanding are becoming more apparent, as the traditional focus has been on the shape of the city, rather than how it functions as a place to live and visit. How Great Cities Happen addresses this challenge by developing a wider, all-encompassing agenda for more productive, inclusive and sustainable cities.
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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

Access to secure, comfortable and affordable housing influences a person’s health and wellbeing, sense of belonging and ability to participate in society both socially and economically. The widening gap between household incomes and the rising cost of housing to buy or rent is emerging as a key issue in many cities. This chapter explores the nature and scale of housing challenges, looking at the supply and demand aspects, the spatial patterns of locational disadvantage and inequity triggered by the cost of housing, and the role that affordable housing plays in the productivity of a city and its economic competitiveness. With cities such as London, New York, Berlin and Melbourne experiencing shortages in housing supply (including social housing), there is an urgent need for governments to implement policies and initiatives which encourage more housing being constructed close to where job agglomerations exist, with good public and active transport. Various financial models, planning mechanisms and partnership arrangements aimed at providing more housing which is affordable to low and lower middle-income households and increasing the stock of social housing are examined. Unlocking the potential of government-owned land for affordable housing and higher-density mixed-use development, and innovation in housing design and building technologies are also discussed. A key challenge for governments is how to scale-up the affordable and social housing sectors to address issues of homelessness, overcrowding and spatial inequity within our cities.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

A broader scope for integrated land use transport planning increases the complexity of associated governance requirements, an area that good cities manage well. This chapter looks at horizontal and vertical integration and presents a number of international case studies to help inform practice. Horizontal integration seems to work best when there is a clear and unambiguous voice for the city, which also has benefits of transparency and accountability. This is easiest when there is a single local authority responsible for the city but alternative approaches are also examined, as are ways in which national/federal levels of government might engage with integrated urban land use transport planning (vertical integration). The chapter argues for devolution of more decision-making power and associated funding to neighbourhood level and points to the need for governance arrangements to support this change. Some of the proposed changes to governance arrangements would shake up the current power balance in land use transport policy and planning in some cities. Such change is likely to be more easily accomplished if the city is able to speak strongly for itself, is adequately resourced, a wide range of stakeholders is engaged in the process and all are able to operate from a position of trust. The chapter identifies some of the requirements in relation to trust.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

Strategic long-term land use transport plans need to be complemented by implementation plans, which explain how projects and programmes of works will be financed and funded. With substantial sums available internationally for the financing of good infrastructure projects, funding is generally seen as a more significant barrier to implementing long-term land use transport plans. This chapter, therefore, focuses on funding, which includes government funding, funding from service users and funding from other service beneficiaries, requiring a focus on identifying and valuing potential benefits and the associated beneficiaries. It approaches the topic primarily by considering how urban public transport services might be funded, in a wider setting in which cities commonly lack the autonomy to be financially independent. It looks at how public transport is funded in North American and Australian cities, identifies principles to help choose between alternative possible funding measures, elaborates a range of such measures and suggests how they might be bundled into funding packages. This bundling is illustrated for two scenarios: the first is where pricing measures are in place to ensure that road (car) users meet the various external costs associated with their travel choices, through marginal social cost pricing of road use; the second assumes a lack of such pricing of road (car) use.